Friday, 14 November 2014

A Labour of Love ... Or

Love's Labour Lost?
Manchester Buses Journey Planner is a labour of love from the heart of IOLogics Limited. Being based in Manchester, our team enjoys the great transport service provided by Manchester Bus network.

Unfortunately, there was no decent and modern journey planner available, Transport-direct website provided some relief but then UK Govt. decided to close it down. With no responsive alternatives available ...
Erm? Ever heard of Traveline?

The IOLogics team immidiately went on the mission to create a useable and useful bus journey planner for the people of Greater Manchester area.

IOLogics Ltd. which was founded in February 2009. Primarily working in the field of Web technologies we slowly expanded our horizon, went multi-descipline and started working in the fields as diverse as Image Processing,

Fair enough! Techies, not bus people.

The IOLogics Limited team has a unique combination of skill sets which include design, eye-to-detail, mobile-first approach, excellent engineering and top marketing skills. The result was a turn-around time of 20 days with a great website containing a Manchester Buses Journey Planner which actually works all kinds of modern day screen sizes.

Perhaps that's the beef. Neither Traveline North West (nor Transport defunct) was very good on Smart phones, I-pads and other portable stuff.

Anyway, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. ("proof" in its less usual sense of "testing"; see also "the exception proves the rule")
Pretty front end ...
... and a delightfully simple interface. Good house point. But warning signs then appear.
Over two and a half hours from Glossop to Altrincham seems a lot.
Oh deary me. WALK for 51 minutes (and 33 seconds - must take your stop watch with you) to Tintwistle.
And 9 minutes between Ashton bus station and the Metrolink stop? (IOLogics have forgotten to add a "tram" icon to their system, hence the blank "image" bits).

Not only is there a bus between Glossop and Tintwistle or between Glossop and Stalybridge to pick up the tram BUT there is the slight matter of THE TRAIN.
The Glossop "mess" may be because Glossop in in D*rbysh*re and that is in the **st M*dl*nds Traveline area and, obviously, a Manchester Buses journey planner would not want to advise a tr**n!

Traveline seems to get it right ...
... and in less than half the time.
fbb commends IOLogics for a genuinely motivated effort BUT Traveline (with all its faults) is better. Maybe a fairer test would be to try a definite bus only trip.

Here are the two systems' answers for a bus at 1010 from Doffcocker to the Bolton Hospital. New site; complicated:-
Old, and non existent according to AOLogics, Traveline:-
A through journey by service 501 ...
... confirmed by the map.
continued below
An interesting comparison. But best stick to Traveline until AOLogics get some bus people in to sort out their algorithms. Maybe Bolton Hospital can provide some treatment for a touch of dodgy algorithms. 

Or even a few of these!
But, whatever the quality of journey planning from the new site, fbb is preparing to rush northwards to ride on Manchester's new blue super-duper double becks.
thank you
fbb appreciates the kind words written as a comment on yesterday's blog. Thank you Geriatrix.
Geriatrix is the oldest inhabitant of Asterix's village: he is mentioned as 93 years old in "Asterix at the Olympic Games." While drunk, he says he feels ten years younger, to which Asterix replies, "Well, that makes you 83, and it's time you were in bed."
Asterix The Gaul : cartoon story books

Or it could be the first recorded example of a pot of pills responding to an fbb post.
The mind bloggles!
 Next [model] train blog : Saturday 15th November 


  1. "went multi-descipline" Presumably spelling (or perhaps proof-reading) is not one of the disciplines where they went. Could blame LinkedIn, where that quote seems to be from, but IOLogics own site uses the word "adoptiong". Perhaps it is one of those new web app thingys.

  2. Immidiately suspicious of dodgy spelling

  3. IOL claims (in the "Contact Us" section of the site) that "The product itself works on an official dataset provided by Transport for Greater Manchester authority (sic)" Some of the options it gave me for an Eccles to Bolton journey were, frankly, bizarre. One such was to alight at Bolton bus station change onto a Preston bus for one stop to the town centre from where I could walk to a different part of the town centre that was, apparently my "destination" of "Bolton"!

  4. Blushes....and, ahem, why have Arriva The Shires closed their enquiry office at the splendid (really, well, at least compared to Slough!) High Wycombe Bus Station?

  5. Can I just thank you ffb for all your work. This blog has become essential to read before I can start my day! I function after reading this! :-))